Compass planes History Moulding planes Practical techniques Restoration

Circular restoration work on Høvelbenk blog

The wonderful Høvelbenk blog is rapidly becoming a favourite of mine. Having recently found a Stanley No.20 circular plane, I’m keen to see a few in action and learn a bit more about what it can do. The latest post on Høvelbenk seems to be concerned with the restoration of a curved moulded arch over a historic door. The blog is Swedish, and I dearly wish I could read it in English, but the pictures are, as ever, nicely shot and edited. One very interesting shot shows planes which the writers seem to make (!), as part of the project. Wonderful stuff. I really hope this post makes it into their English category.

Practical techniques

A door examination

In our part of London there are some lovely examples of Georgian and Victorian houses. The area around Brick Lane is well documented now, but if you are a visitor and you are interested in architecture, you might take a wander up Brick Lane and duck into the Spitalfields area. Streets such as Fournier St and Fashion St have some fine old houses that have been renovated with a lot of care by their owners. (You can read a lot more about this on the Spitalfields Life blog. In particular, I thought this post was lovely.

Georgian Door_ Hackney_London
Up towards my stomping ground on the eastern side of Hackney, the houses are a little less grand, but areas such as Clapton Square have some lovely Georgian houses too. (The above pic is a nice door from a typical house on the square.)
Whilst walking around the local streets the other day I noticed some tradesman replacing a door and the old door was still on the street. I was interested to see the building-up of the moulded sections. The deep outer moulding on the main lower panel is rebated back, to hang over the square edge. I’m used to seeing that, and it’s good practice, allowing for shrinkage. It was interesting to see the thinner panels that must have been jointed and glued up to make a larger flat panel to act as the ‘core’ of the panel. I suppose it makes sense in terms of material that was available back then and the fact most of it was subsequently covered by the raised panel and outer mouldings.
Victorian Door 1
Victorian Door 2
After a browse through the LAP book ‘Doormaking & Windowmaking’, I found reference to these sorts of doors, the construction of which is actually quite interesting. I especially like the technique of cutting the rebate for the bolection bolding as a very slight wedge shape. When you nail the bolection in, the shallow angle forces the outs flanges of the moulding to pull in very tightly, important especially as the upper edges are exposed to the running-off of water from the door.
(Click the pics to get a readable size.)
Doormaking & Windowmaking_1
Doormaking & Windowmaking_2
Doormaking & Windowmaking_3
Doormaking & Windowmaking_4

Kruse & Bahlmann

Plane time capsule


I loved this post over on MVFlaim’s blog about his Kruse & Bahlmann plane restoration. Take a read and discover the extra surprise he got when he worked on the plane.

Aux Mines de Suede Planes

Some new stock

I’ve been pretty busy here with house purchases, holidays and the day job, but slowly getting back to tool-pickups and selling. I’ve had some interesting tools coming through the doors just recently, so will be posting a few as I get them cleaned up. My web guy continues to employ the undercover skills of a special agent, so for the time being the completion of my sales page on the website remains a dream.
The first nice plane this week is a lovely skewed rebate with two depth stops, made by the French firm, ‘Aux Mines de Suede‘. It has nice sharp irons, one of which is a nicker held in by a supplementary small wedge. The wood used by this firm for their planes is a very dense, heavy wood, which keep an excellent profile. I believe it’s Cormier wood? I’d also call this a badger plane if it had a rear handle and no depth stop, but not sure whether that applies to this configuration. As ever, I welcome your input, dear readers.